The industry has reached an agreement to support Rep. Tony Hall’s “Clean Diamond Act.” Three Senators will introduce the compromise bill in the Senate—Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wisc.), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Mike DeWine (D-Ohio).
In a statement, Jewelers of America called for “swift passage” of the bill. “This bill is a critical step forward in the ongoing effort to eliminate the insidious traffic in conflict diamonds,” said Matthew A. Runci, president and CEO of Jewelers of America. “While conflict diamonds represent only a small percentage of those traded, our goal is to assure American consumers that every diamond in our stores come from a legitimate source.”
The bipartisan measure only allows diamonds in from countries that have rough controls. According to Reuters, the bill stands a good chance of being passed by Congress, now that both industry groups and non-governmental organizations back it.
At the Diamond Registry, we support efforts to stop conflict diamonds. We have furnished data to the U.S. International Trade Commission, which was measuring the bill’s impact for a report to Congress. We are happy to hear that the two sides are no longer fighting over legislation. We are even happier that the dreadful war in Sierra Leone appears to be dying down as well. In politics, and elsewhere, fighting never solves anything.
Meanwhile, at the Diamond Dealers Club of New York, a slate of reformers was elected to the Board of Directors. It was an unusual election, in that one issue dominated the voting. The reformers’ platform opposed the club’s purchase of a license from the Sierra Leone government to open up a rough buying office. They questioned whether members’ money should go to such a purchase.